Attached cavitation is a type of common cavitation phenomenon in fluid machinery. It is important to develop methods to control its generation. From the view of cavitation inception, the generation of attached cavitation is greatly influenced by the separated boundary layer upstream of cavitation detachment. In this research, a row of microscopic delta-shaped counter-rotating vortex generators (VGs) was applied on the leading edge of the NACA0015 hydrofoil in order to suppress the boundary layer separation and then suppress the generation of attached cavitation.
The application of VGs fixed the position of cavitation inception on hydrofoil thus the sheet cavitation became more stable and the cloud cavity shed from hydrofoil with trim trailing edge more regularly. It was found that cavitation inception always appeared adjacent to VGs due to the low pressure in the corner of streamwise vortices induced by VGs. Hydrofoil with VGs showed an entirely different cavitation morphology on the leading edge. A row of separate microscopic vortex cavitation was induced by the counter-rotating vortices firstly. With the lower the height of VGs, the longer the length of these vortex cavitation due to the weaker interaction between vortices and main flow. Following the vortex cavitation, the attached cavitation was developing, but without typical “finger” structure anymore.